Wifi Extender Not Working Properly

My router is located in a room across my house, and so we put a wifi extender in - between the router and my room, which has an XBOX 360 and my PC, so, to connect to the extender, I bought and am using a Netgear N300 USB wifi adapter to receive the wifi coming from the extender, but, if I'm using my PC , running Skype and online gaming, and someone is using the XBOX at the same time, we both get horrible connection, and I start to drop Skype calls, and lag in online gaming , and the XBOX does the same. So I was wondering is it my Netgear N300, the extender, or the router across the house?
13 answers Last reply
More about wifi extender working properly
  1. Is the extender placed in an area where you get at least 60% sig. str?
  2. remixedcat said:
    Is the extender placed in an area where you get at least 60% sig. str?


    I know I may sound like a complete technology noob, but i'm not sure what sig.str means, do you mind explaining that to me?
  3. "signal strength"
  4. The problem with a wireless network extender is that you essentially add another stop data moving to and from your devices has to make. So it will always cause some latency (lag), and if I'm understanding it correctly you aren't directly connected to the extender, you're running your devices through another router, which connects to the extender, which connects to the main router. :S

    It sounds like the main problem you face here is bandwidth. A PC running Skype and an online game is already a bandwidth hog, and the Xbox is too. The big problem is you can't afford to get much latency with your PC or Xbox, and Skype is the same way. So you've got three things that all need a fast, constant connection, but they "butt heads" when they go through the router, causing them all to suffer. I'm sure having all this go through an extender beforehand just makes the problem worse.

    What you may want to do is access the extender's admin page and see if you can change the QoS (Quality of Service) options to prioritize the data from your devices. In this scenario, you're going to have to make a decision about what device or application is going to be the first one pushed out of the way when they're all operating.

    What you could also do is:
    (A): Wire your devices, which may not be possible depending on your situation, but is always the best option for gaming and VoIP (Skype).
    (B): Buy a Set of Powerline Adapters and possibly a Switch (For more ethernet ports, you could actually use the N300 in your room like this.) and connect your devices or one of your devices that way. Powerline adapters work by plugging one in to a power outlet and connecting to to your main router via ethernet cable, then plugging the other adapter into your device. It uses the electrical wiring in your house like a network, and is typically much faster and more reliable than wireless. These are usually more expensive than range extenders, but you'd most likely see an improvement in latency.

    You can improve your latency a bit by wirelessly connecting your devices to the range extender, but once you get all three applications running at the same time it won't really matter that much.
  5. IceColdNed said:
    The problem with a wireless network extender is that you essentially add another stop data moving to and from your devices has to make. So it will always cause some latency (lag), and if I'm understanding it correctly you aren't directly connected to the extender, you're running your devices through another router, which connects to the extender, which connects to the main router. :S

    It sounds like the main problem you face here is bandwidth. A PC running Skype and an online game is already a bandwidth hog, and the Xbox is too. The big problem is you can't afford to get much latency with your PC or Xbox, and Skype is the same way. So you've got three things that all need a fast, constant connection, but they "butt heads" when they go through the router, causing them all to suffer. I'm sure having all this go through an extender beforehand just makes the problem worse.

    What you may want to do is access the extender's admin page and see if you can change the QoS (Quality of Service) options to prioritize the data from your devices. In this scenario, you're going to have to make a decision about what device or application is going to be the first one pushed out of the way when they're all operating.

    What you could also do is:
    (A): Wire your devices, which may not be possible depending on your situation, but is always the best option for gaming and VoIP (Skype).
    (B): Buy a Set of Powerline Adapters and possibly a Switch (For more ethernet ports, you could actually use the N300 in your room like this.) and connect your devices or one of your devices that way. Powerline adapters work by plugging one in to a power outlet and connecting to to your main router via ethernet cable, then plugging the other adapter into your device. It uses the electrical wiring in your house like a network, and is typically much faster and more reliable than wireless. These are usually more expensive than range extenders, but you'd most likely see an improvement in latency.

    You can improve your latency a bit by wirelessly connecting your devices to the range extender, but once you get all three applications running at the same time it won't really matter that much.


    Thanks for the reply m8, I think I have decided on getting a Powerline Adapter, but will I be able to connect to the _EXT router also with the adapter, or will I have to connect it to my main router?
  6. Roman3R said:


    Thanks for the reply m8, I think I have decided on getting a Powerline Adapter, but will I be able to connect to the _EXT router also with the adapter, or will I have to connect it to my main router?


    You can connect the Extender with the powerline adapter, but since you have a N300 near your devices, what you can probably do is connect the first adapter to the main router, then connect the second one to the N300, and use the N300 as a Switch. This would allow you to use the N300's multiple ethernet ports to connect all your devices. You might need to configure some settings on the n300 to get this to work, or you might not.

    The great thing about the powerline adapter is that if you decide on connecting all your devices with it, you won't even need the wifi extender anymore, which ought to help with lag and connection times.

    Now that I've said all this, I'd like to add a little disclaimer:
    Although I recently had a slightly similar situation to yours, I wouldn't call myself a networking Guru just yet. The only thing I'm not 100% sure about is being able to use the N300 as a switch (Though I honestly can't see why not). I would recommend doing a bit more research yourself to see if it is indeed the right solution for you; just because you get a powerline adapter doesn't necessarily mean all your problems will be solved.

    Also, I've found that on my home network, (I have all my devices connected to my main router via wifi) I can have at most two bandwidth heavy applications or devices operating simultaneously without too much lag, but the third usually starts killing it. I have the best internet plan I can buy in my area (50MBps / 5MBps upload) too.

    To get you started, here are some good links regarding pros/cons of routers, how to optimize your router, powerline adapter pros/cons, and other etc.

    NCIX.com has a good video on all three networking types: http://youtu.be/Sue1Zvmh8JA

    LifeHacker also has a good series on routers and router optimization: Router Hardware 101

    Another Lifehacker post on the three network types: Ditching slow Wireless Speeds

    If all else fails, the powerline adapters are still excellent (relative to wireless) for gaming; I'm planning on buying some for my devices in the near future. But as I said, you might need to prioritize one device over the other.

    I hope you've found this helpful. Good luck, and if you have any more questions I'll do my best to answer them!:)
  7. IceColdNed said:
    Roman3R said:


    Thanks for the reply m8, I think I have decided on getting a Powerline Adapter, but will I be able to connect to the _EXT router also with the adapter, or will I have to connect it to my main router?


    You can connect the Extender with the powerline adapter, but since you have a N300 near your devices, what you can probably do is connect the first adapter to the main router, then connect the second one to the N300, and use the N300 as a Switch. This would allow you to use the N300's multiple ethernet ports to connect all your devices. You might need to configure some settings on the n300 to get this to work, or you might not.

    The great thing about the powerline adapter is that if you decide on connecting all your devices with it, you won't even need the wifi extender anymore, which ought to help with lag and connection times.

    Now that I've said all this, I'd like to add a little disclaimer:
    Although I recently had a slightly similar situation to yours, I wouldn't call myself a networking Guru just yet. The only thing I'm not 100% sure about is being able to use the N300 as a switch (Though I honestly can't see why not). I would recommend doing a bit more research yourself to see if it is indeed the right solution for you; just because you get a powerline adapter doesn't necessarily mean all your problems will be solved.

    Also, I've found that on my home network, (I have all my devices connected to my main router via wifi) I can have at most two bandwidth heavy applications or devices operating simultaneously without too much lag, but the third usually starts killing it. I have the best internet plan I can buy in my area (50MBps / 5MBps upload) too.

    To get you started, here are some good links regarding pros/cons of routers, how to optimize your router, powerline adapter pros/cons, and other etc.

    NCIX.com has a good video on all three networking types: http://youtu.be/Sue1Zvmh8JA

    LifeHacker also has a good series on routers and router optimization: Router Hardware 101

    Another Lifehacker post on the three network types: Ditching slow Wireless Speeds

    If all else fails, the powerline adapters are still excellent (relative to wireless) for gaming; I'm planning on buying some for my devices in the near future. But as I said, you might need to prioritize one device over the other.

    I hope you've found this helpful. Good luck, and if you have any more questions I'll do my best to answer them!:)


    Ill do the research to see if I could use the N300 as a switch , and if not then ill connect the Powerline Adapter to the _EXT router. Thanks for the feedback, it really helped
  8. elvis304 said:
    "signal strength"


    Thanks
  9. For powerline adapters you must also make sure they are on the same circuit.
  10. Ok thanks
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